The summer heat is upon us and if you’ve been smart you’re perfecting those non-cook recipes to beat the heat. If you like a glass of wine here and there, a good companion to a cold soup, salad, or Middle East mezze is a summer favorite – rose wine. If you’re a Muslim and don’t drink alcohol look for a non-alcoholic variety to suit your palette. Similarly our Jewish readers will find something to suit their taste in shops that cater to the kosher market. Today we’re going to look at 4 rosé wines made in the Middle East.
A true rose, or rosé (rose-eh, said with a french accent) is usually somewhat dry in nature and comes with a fresh fruit flavor that tastes like strawberry and raspberry. But some wine tasters have noticed that rosés are getting sweeter, boosting their popularity. While our pics aren’t organic, buying them helps support the local industries in Middle East regions that could use the boost. Most of the wineries are small, boutique businesses.
Our first pic is a rosé from Turkey.
1. Selendi Gulpembe Rosé has been compared to rosés from the Provence region. This particular winery belongs to Akın Öngör, a previous general manager of Garanti, one of Turkey’s largest banks. His wife has a great influence on the outcome of the wine. Mezzes with eggplant or tomatoes work well with this wine as well as cheese or a lamb tenderloin.
2. Galil from Israel makes a Mountain Rosé which some reviewers say tastes great with light summer vegetarian fare such as quinoa and squash. Made from four grape varieties the wine is complex, with hints of berries, honey and vanilla. For about $10 a bottle, this kosher variety is a steal.
3. Lebanon’s Massaya winery makes a Classic Rosé that tastes like strawberry and spice. Produced in the Bekaa Valley, the brand unites a super-power team of wine makers including two brothers. And the region is perfect for this variety: the Bekaa Valley has a special climate with long gentle summers, winters that are wet, and an annual average of 25 degrees C.
4. Also from Lebanon is Ksara‘s Sunset Rose. Lebanese are considered among the earliest winemakers, and the locals back then enjoyed it, attested by Lebanon’s ruins of the Temple of Bacchus, located in the Bekaa Valley. This natural winery has built its natural wine cellar out of a grotto. This company is known for producing legendary wines. We haven’t tried their rosé but heard it has a strong personality.
Any other rosés we should add to our Middle Eastern list to help cool us down?
Image of summer dining from Shutterstock